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Vancouver vs. AC St. Louis Preview, and team news.

Is it me, or does it seem like we have been playing Vancouver a lot lately?

No, it isn’t you or me, we have played them a lot. Out of all the games that we have played, 23% of the (3 of 13) have been against Vancouver. And, to date, we have played Vancouver pretty closely.

In our first match against Vancouver, AC lost in a defensive struggle against the Whitecaps 1-0. While neither side threatened offensively, the banged up St. Louis team looked to not be totally on their feet, only playing Portland two days prior.

In the second match against Vancouver, AC looked to have a little more stride in their step. While Vancouver rarely threatened AC keeper Alec Dufty, Vancouver keeper Jay Nolly make a few hand saves that lead to a 0-0 draw. AC had a number of chances to put the game away, but nobody was going to get a goal past Nolly that night.

So now we are playing our third game against the Whitecaps. And, like the previous two matches, we shouldn’t expect anything different from the other two games. Vancouver continues to be a defensive team, and I am sure they will continue that in tonight’s game. But with the recent success of AC piercing the Whitecaps’ defense in the last match, anything is possible. If they continue to apply offensive pressure, a second road win for AC could easily be in hand.

But even if Vancouver doesn’t push up, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t a scoring threat. Of their 14 goals, six have come off the foot of their defenders, with Luca Bellisomo and Greg Janicki scoring two each. Therefore, it will be important as ever for AC’s defense to keep on their toes, as shots can come from any direction.

According to AC St. Louis’ front office, here is the projected line-up for tonight’s match:

Dufty – Velton, Bauer, Traynor, Bloom – Cosgriff, Cole – Kreamalmeyer, Chrishain – Titton, Gauchinho.

Since taking over the team, new coach Dale Schilly has instituted a few changes from what Claude Anelka had done in the past. First, it seems like Tim Velton is going to stay at the right-back position, even with the return of Zack Bauer from a foot injury. Bauer had been stellar in that position until his injury, but Velton has shown a little bit of spark which makes him a good attacking threat on the right hand side. And with Luke Kreamalmeyer working on the right-wing, this could give AC a good right side attack, which has been lacking so far this season.

On the left, captain Jack Traynor moves to the left center-back position while Mark Bloom is in the left-back position. I don’t know if it is just me, but it seems like Traynor has been moved around quite a bit throughout the pitch since his arrival at St. Louis. I can already think of four positions (left-mid, center-mid, left-back, center left-back) that Traynor has played. While I am sure he can play all of those positions, it would be nice to see one of our most talented players remain in one position. Still, Mark Bloom continues to play solid as well.

In the midfield, rarely used Hagop Chirishian will be attacking from the left, with Luke Kreamalmeyer on the right, which is no surprise.  Playing behind the attacking defenders are Troy Cole and Jeff Cosgriff. Cosgriff has played more of a pivotal role in the AC offense since the arrival of Dale Schilly. With his height (at 6’4″) Cosgriff should become an important player during AC corner kicks. And if AC starts bring on the offensive pressure, expect to see Cosgriff, Cole and Velton to start moving forward.

Up front, Coach Schilly is going with the two Brazilians. Alex Titton and Gauchinho will be the striking force for AC tonight. Can they bring some Brazilian magic to the team?

This is an interesting line up and will be interesting to see how it will work tonight. Still, If AC cannot produce a win, or even a goal, I am sure supporters will be questioning the decision by the club to fire Claude Anelka, who was let go after a three game winning streak.

As far as injuries, Anthony O’Garro is still on the injury list with a knee knock, but we should expect him to be back shortly. Dillion Barna suffered a broken collarbone, which will see him sidelined for quite a while. But in addition, Brad Stisser and Mike Ambersley will also be out of action, which explains why Coach Schilly is going with the Brazilian duo up front.

On the bench for tonight’s game will be John Lesko, Elvir Kafedzic, Chris Salvaggione, Ryan Moore and Chad Becker. Therefore, we won’t even use all of our substitutes, unless we switch keepers, which won’t happen unless there is an injury to Dufty.

In other team news, AC confirm that both Manuel Kante and Christian Nzinga “mutually agreed” to part ways with the team on June 28th. While politics seems to be part of the reason for these player’s departure, it is still a blow to AC, which has an increasingly shrinking bench.

In addition, James McCarthy, who was the only player besides Chad Becker that hasn’t seen any play for AC, also parted ways with the team as well.


One Response

  1. Just had a peek ahead at the schedule. With the amount of injured players, even some coming back soon, this looks to be a very tough month for the team. Best of luck tomorrow night, we are all behind Coach Shilly and the boys!

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